Red Hare Brewing Company | Berry Belgian Waffle
Berry Belgian Waffle is a truly unique beer that pushes forward the possibilities of beer and brewing style. We can all appreciate breweries that focus on hitting style profiles to the letter. These breweries strive to make classic examples of beer – those efforts often resulting in successful campaigns at the Great American Beer Festival. Berry Belgian Waffle may not be the next GABF medal winning beer out of the booming Georgia brewing scene; What it is, instead, is a fun example of a small brewery, Red Hare Brewing Company, having fun and pushing what is acceptable and expected from American beer.
Berry Belgian Waffle comes in a very well designed 12oz can from a six pack. I poured it into a snifter (that is not me above, trust me) because I anticipate a big aroma being both a Belgian-style beer and fruited. It pours an interesting dark gold with a faint blue or purple hue like someone juiced some lemons along with a few dark berries. The not so very white head dissipates quickly.
Berry Belgian Waffle opens up with a fruity aroma but I can’t peg it down to a specific type of berry. Very little hop presence comes forward in the aroma but underneath the fruit notes is a bit of spicy almost peppery note that supports the intense fruit. The aroma also has a touch of tartness but not in the sense of acidity but rather the way a mixed berry punch juice is tart.
On the first sip I’m overwhelmed by blueberry. I have to take two sips to get past the intense fruit in order to finally appreciate the other notes in Berry Belgian Waffle. The blueberry note is not cloyingly sweet but instead it is very much along the lines of fresh blueberry straight from the produce section. Following behind the fruit is an interesting malty and bready almost pastry dough flavor. It tastes the way malted waffle mix from a make-your-own waffle station at a breakfast buffet tastes. It has some Maillard reaction flavors like the crusty edges of a blueberry muffin or perhaps a not so buttery croissant. There is some Belgian yeast character but not so much that it detracts from the other flavors. The yeast driven spice phenolics are the backup note behind the berries and the waffle/malt character that props the beer up and manages to make Berry Belgian Waffle a complex beer without becoming muddy. Food pairing is a no-brainer, enjoy this unique beer with waffles!
I can appreciate what Red Hare Brewing Company is doing with this beer. Beer is more than just sticking strictly to established guidelines and concepts of beer styles. Innovation and experimentation are what drive the search for interesting and unique experiences. Red Hare Brewing Company is certainly dedicated to innovation being not only a small focused brewery but also able to express an artistic vision. Berry Belgian Waffle delivers an experience you won’t find in any other beer.